Brown Holds Off Yale, 60-56

Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – All season long, defense has led to wins for the Yale women’s basketball team. Friday night at Brown in the Ivy League opener, however, the Bears’ defense was just a little bit better as the home team edged the Bulldogs in a defensive battle by a score of 60-56. Junior Mady Gobrecht posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Yale.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in Ivy League play. Brown snaps a five-game losing streak, improving to 4-11 and opening Ancient Eight competition at 1-0.

“Brown wanted it more than we did,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale. “They played hard and deserved to win.”

Junior Yoyo Greenfield and freshman Megan Vasquez joined Gobrecht in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively. As a team, the Bulldogs shot 29.5% (18-61) from the field, 14.3% (2-14) from beyond the arc and 72% (18-25) from the free throw line. Yale won the battle on the boards, 52-42, but committed 27 turnovers, including 17 in the second half. Senior Haywood Wright led the defense effort with five blocked shots.

Aileen Daniels paced Brown with 15 points, while Lindsay Nickel (11 points) and Hannah Passafuime (10) also reached double figures. Natalie Bonds hauled in 10 rebounds and swatted four Yale shots. The Bears shot 35.9% (23-64) from the floor, 25% (2-8) from downtown and 60% (12-20) from the line.

The Bulldogs held Brown to just two points over the first 7:19 of the contest en route to claiming a 7-2 lead, but the Bears battled back as the score was soon tied at 9-9. Yale would net the next four points, courtesy of two Melissa Colborne free throws and a Gobrecht layup, and maintained its slim lead to the intermission, heading to the locker room with a 27-25 advantage.

Gobrecht led the Bulldogs with nine points, six rebounds and four assists in the first 20 minutes of action. Greenfield added six points as Yale shot 25% (8-32) from the floor, 0-6 from three-point range and 73.3% (11-15) from the charity stripe. Nickel shared the half high with nine points to pace the Bears’ offense, while Bonds grabbed seven rebounds first-half rebounds. As a team, Brown led on the glass by a 27-23 margin. The Bulldogs had the edge in turnovers, committing 10 while forcing 14 Bears’ miscues and converting them into 11 points.

Just as they had done in the first half, the Bulldogs opened the second frame on a fast-paced 7-2 run to claim a 34-27 lead. Brown would once again rally, this time coming all the way back to take its first lead of the game at 39-37 with 11:51 left in regulation. The Bears kept Yale at arm’s length over the next several minutes, before a Vasquez three-point play knotted the score at 48-48. Vasquez would come through on the next possession as well, swiping the ball and going coast to coast to give the lead back to the Bulldogs, 50-48, with 4:41 on the clock. Brown would respond by tallying the next eight points to regain a 56-50 advantage with time rapidly running out. Yale fight back to within two points in the final minute, but the Bears hit their free throws down the stretch to preserve the 60-56 win.

Yale returns to the Ocean State on Monday, Jan. 18 to wrap-up the 2009-10 non-conference slate with a 2 p.m. contest in Smithfield, R.I. at Bryant. Ivy League play resumes on Friday, Jan. 22 as the Bulldogs close out the home-and-home series with Brown. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven is scheduled for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity